Change is A’Coming to Rocket City

An article in Government Executive magazine announced that Huntsville, Alabama is becoming the next stomping grounds for several government agencies.  This transition kicked-off with the expansion of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) in 2005 when the Missile Defense Agency learned that they would be relocating their agency from a Washington suburb to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville.  Since that announcement, several agencies have followed in the MDA’s footsteps. A few of the MDA’s neighbors now include:

  • 1700 positions from the AMC and USASAC
  • 180 positions from SDMC
  • 400 positions from the Aviation Technical List Center & Rotary Wing Platform
  • 113 positions from  the 2nd Recruiting Brigade

When the BRAC transitions are completed in September 2011, approximately 4700 positions will be relocated to Redstone.

Organizational change is a fact of life in the workplace.

All of this change has led to increased stress levels on the organizations and people involved.  The transition has required employees to wear multiple hats while leaders have been implementing several training efforts to get others up to speed. 

Leading people through change is an ongoing challenge in any agency.  So how do BRAC or other leaders maximize high levels of productivity and morale and ensure a successful transition?

A U.S. Department of Education project originally conducted by Gene Hall and his colleagues at the University of Texas suggests that people are faced with change express 6 predictable and sequential concerns.

  1. Information concerns
  2. Personal concerns
  3. Implementation concerns
  4. Impact concerns
  5. Collaboration concerns
  6. Refinement concerns

Resolving concerns throughout the change process builds trust in the leadership team, puts challenges on the table, gives people an opportunity to influence the changes process, and allows people to refocus their energy on the change.

At the Ken Blanchard Companies, new work by Pat Zigarmi, Judd Hoekstra, and Ken Blanchard on the Situational Leadership II and Leading People Through Change programs provides guidance for diagnosing concerns and then using the appropriate change leadership strategy to address those concerns.

Watch this video of Ken Blanchard discussing the reality of change.

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